Dawkins has brought us back to the point of kinship with the vegetable kingdom. We are closer to fungi than to plants — I know you’ve been wondering about that.

Anyway, he was making points about cauliflower and redwoods, both plants with which I have much experience and for which I have great fondness, but I can’t say I am feeling much kinship, except in that whole quantum, we are stardust kind of way.

And that is when he mentioned the melody hound. This is a computer program that allows you to type in your recollection of a tune, and then gives you a bunch of pieces that might be the ones you are thinking of.

You know how it is — you are listening to something and thinking “Now, what is that?” This happened recently at work. “What is that?” one customer asked. I had been wondering, myself, because it was one of those tantalizing half-remembered ones. Another customer said it was from “Phantom of the Opera.” At that moment, the radio announcer came on and said that Dvorak had written the tune — a circumstance which did not change the second customer’s mind. “I could be wrong,” she admitted, “but I think it’s from ‘Phantom of the Opera.'”

This amazing program will track down possible tunes for you based on how they go up and down. Now, if you actually know enough music to type it in, that is probably more accurate. If you have the right hardware, you can hum or sing it and the computer will give you the name. But the UUDD (up up down down) option is pretty cool.

Dawkins had used “Danny Boy,” so I put in the first phrase. (He calls it “Londonderry Air,” saying that “Danny Boy” is “the American name,” but I cannot help hearing that as “London Derriere,” so I stick with “Danny Boy.”) I got everything from Hoagy Carmichael to Bach.

This is fun to play with on days when you have plenty of time. It may also allow you to write insightful papers for your music history class.

Yesterday’s social events were as different as they could be. The baby shower was a gathering of strangers — none of us knew the mom or any of her family — with a very structured focus. At least, we could all talk about the babies. The lunch, being a group of old friends, was one of far-ranging conversation and lots of laughter. However, as Mrs. M pointed out when people were hesitant about coming to a baby shower for a stranger, you can’t get to know people if you won’t ever meet with strangers.

In the afternoon, following the trip to the gym (and both the boys are using heavier weights than I, though I outweigh them both), I sat out on the porch and read. The temperature was perfect, and there were soft breezes and birdsong and early blossoms. Really quite perfect. #2 daughter had a tornado nearby, but it missed her.

I got a couple of rows done on Erin (that is, the cardigan from Alice Starmore’s Celtic Collection). It will soon be too hot for this lapful of wool. However, this is all for the better, because my college friend M is sending me yarn to make make a couple of Lavold’s Jasmine (that’s the raglan with lace I posted a picture of last week) sweaters. I will make us each one.

This means that along here somewhere in the future a mysterious package will arrive containing yarn. What an exciting prospect! I have not worked with either of the yarns she is considering before, and the colors also will be a bit of a surprise. This is about the level of excitement I like to have in my life nowadays. Chanthaboune says it is not interesting to read about everything’s fine, everytown everyday life, but it is in many ways more pleasant to live such a life.

Admittedly, she was talking about her latest Plotz (name courtesy of the clever Silfert) game entry…